True confessions: I’m already knee-deep in my personal spring reading list. It’s officially that time of year when reading outside on a park bench is a fanciful reality, and I, for one, could not be more excited. After going heavy on the non-fiction these past few months, I am back on the fiction bandwagon thanks to a few truly fantastic reads that I’ve been blowing through with record speed. Here are the spring books that I’ve already digested, and the ones I’m hoping to read before summertime sets in.
Circe – Whether you’re a Greek mythology nerd of not (spoiler alert: I am), this spellbinding novel tells the story of Circe, the yellow-eyed witch who seduced the legendary hero Odysseus. Part mythological lore, part history of the gods, I found this novel to be incredibly well-written and polished it off in about 4 days.
Save Me the Plums – Ruth Reichl has long been a culinary hero of mine (if you haven’t, read Tender At the Bone), and Save Me the Plums shares her stories from her time at the helm of Gourmet Magazine. It’s funny, it’s lighthearted, it’s full of poignant anecdotes and rogue recipes, and it was a pleasure to read.
Daisy Jones and The Six – Part Almost Famous, part behind the scenes documentary, I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed Daisy Jones. It is written fully in the style of an interview, and bounces between the musings, reflections, and recountings of band members and their circle of agents, producers, lovers, and friends as they rise to fame during the 1970s.
We Were Eight Years in Power – While I enjoyed Coates’ debut work (Between the World and Me), I much preferred this second book, which is a collection of essays that he wrote for The Atlantic. The article subject matter spans the question of reparations to our first black president to the current state of the political landscape, but the real treat is the reflections that Coates writes for each of these pieces, including his headspace when they were written, what he was trying to achieve, and how he thinks about them now, after some time has passed.
All That You Leave Behind – Both heartbreaking and uplifting, this memoir is written from the perspective of Erin Carr, a documentary filmmaker and daughter of the late David Carr, a prolific and celebrated journalist. It reflects on both of their journeys with addiction, with creating art, and with documenting the world, and also how Erin both came to terms with and continues to celebrate the legacy of her father.
Night of the Gun – Night of the Gun was referenced many a time in All That You Leave Behind (see above), as it was David Carr’s memoir of his time as an addict, and how he ultimately journeyed through addiction, came out the other side, and built his career with the New York Times.
Normal People – In all honesty, I don’t know much about this novel other than that it has come highly recommended, time and time again. It’s the second book from Sally Rooney, and explores the lifespan of two friends as they grow up and become romantically entwined, amidst the complications of class disparities, and well, real life. The library wait list is long for this one, but I am eagerly awaiting it.
Charged – I am currently about two-thirds of the way through this book, and have found it to be slow-moving simply because I have had to pause and re-read sections multiple times, for two reasons. The first being my limited understanding of the judicial and penitentiary systems, which I believe that this book is expanding by the minute. The second being because some of the information and statistics in this book have blown my mind and shocked my system enough to make me take pause. I’ve found myself thinking about incarceration and the process of prosecution that proceeds it in an entirely new light, and could not be more grateful to this book for that.